Significant Life


Tyler Braun has a passion for the millennial generation.  He serves as a writer, worship leader, and pastor.

Tyler believes that God has a truly significant life in mind for each one of us.  The message he delivers to his audience?

“Your reality is not your destiny.”

So how do we go about discovering what that significant life looks like?  Join us as we learn how to Journey Toward Significant Life.

What’s coming up?

Be on the lookout for our upcoming episode releases from:

Craig Borlase

Frequency.FM

Don Jacobson

And many more!

Have a guest idea?

Contact us:  ashleigh@goodberry.net

The Unqualifications of a Servant

Think you’re the only one feeling unqualified for where God has placed you?  There is a strong tendency in leadership and ministry to feel like we don’t measure up – like our resumes could be labeled:  The Unqualifications of a Servant.  You might be surprised to learn you’re not alone!  Our new staffer Haley would love to share her perspective and a few stories that might change your mind!

The Bible, history, and our world today are full of examples of unlikely people used by God for His purposes. It’s so easy to look at the incredible stories of those who have drastically changed lives and feel insignificant – to feel as though you’ve got the unqualifications of a servant. It’s equally easy to find yourself in a position to help or lead others and suddenly feel inadequate or out of place. I hope you will join me as I start a series exploring the stories of a few of the many unqualified servants of God who have impacted others in both big and small ways.

My Storypiano 

My mom is an amazing pianist. There isn’t a piece that’s too difficult for her and she even arranges and composes her own music. What’s even more impressive is how she finds time and opportunities to use her abilities to serve others. As I grew up, I watched her accompany others for talent shows, competitions, and church worship, play for weddings, funerals, and school functions, and teach a variety of students all at different skill levels.

But this story isn’t about my mom.

When I was in third grade, my elementary music teacher put together a student choir with the intention of performing Handel’s Messiah in December. I refused to join. My music classes had shown me I was a terrible singer, one of the worst in my grade. And after undressing in the hallway earlier in the semester (a story I’d rather not get into right now), I decided I had filled my quota of embarrassment for the year.

My mom was asked to accompany the choir—no surprise there. I also wasn’t surprised when she asked me to turn pages for her—something I had done regularly in the past. I refused. I don’t remember if I was secretly jealous of my fellow students’ angelic voices or just being your typical difficult eight year-old, but I wanted no part in that choir.

Usually my mom had been pretty cool about letting me make my own decisions, but not this time. She pushed and pushed until I finally relented. After all, I would only be turning pages.

The first day of practice was absolute chaos. I sat beside my mom on the piano bench and watched the music teacher struggle to organize twenty energetic students. Most of the kids were too busy talking or running around to bother taking their seats, and one student, the teacher called her Michelle, wouldn’t even leave the wall. She stood in the back of the room pouting, refusing to pick a chair. I didn’t recognize her and assumed she was new to the school.

It wasn’t until after I was sitting beside Michelle, among the other altos, that I realized what I had done. On the car ride home my mom commended me for befriending the shy girl and asking her if she wanted to sit by me, but lamented the fact that she needed a new page turner.

The Servant Girl’s Storybible

“Now bands of raiders from Aram had gone out and had taken captive a young girl from Israel, and she served Naaman’s wife. She said to her mistress, “If only my master would see the prophet who is in Samaria! He would cure him of his leprosy.””–2 Kings 5:2–3 (NIV)

2 Kings 5 describes the story of a highly regarded army commander in the Aram army named Naaman. He was plagued with leprosy and sought out Elisha who instructed Naaman to wash in the Jordan River. When the commander emerged from the water, he found himself completely cleansed. This passage is often remembered as the story of how God healed a man through the prophet Elisha and “seven dips in a dirty river,” but recall how Naaman knew to seek out the prophet in the first place.

Verse two of 2 Kings 5 tells us about the young Israelite girl who was serving Naaman’s wife. She was the one who implored Naaman to speak with Elisha. Very little of this passage is dedicated to the girl, but we can still glean information from it. We know that the girl had been captured in a raid and taken from her home in Israel and she was young. She found herself in a foreign land forced to serve the people who had enslaved her.

“…for your servant [Naaman] will never again make burnt offerings and sacrifices to any other god but the Lord.” –2 Kings 5:17b (NIV)

What is so great about this young girl is, as far as we know, she did not have any prior experience with this sort of situation. There is no verse that says she was ready to witness to her captors and felt prepared. Chances are this unnamed girl did not want to be in Aram serving her enemies and she was very uncomfortable. However, something else we know about her is that she believed and trusted in God. When this moment, specifically planned by God arrived, she spoke with confidence, knowing God was with her.

Your Storycalledperson

We all find ourselves in uncomfortable positions, questioning if that is where we belong. Whether we are a church or small group leader, a one-on-one mentor, a Sunday school or catechism teacher, or someone simply striving to be a Christ-like example, we all feel the pressure to be perfect—say the perfect words, quote the perfect Bible verse, prove we are qualified. Helping others in their walk with Christ can be challenging and it’s easy to feel intimidated. The good news is we are not qualified and we do not have to be.

“But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him. It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness, and redemption. Therefore, as it is written: “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.”” –1 Corinthians 1:27–31 (NIV)

Even when we feel inadequate, unqualified, or outside of our comfort zone, God can still use us powerfully, just as He used the young servant girl.

I’m not saying I led Michelle to God or even cured her of her extreme shyness, but I’d like to think I took away some of her discomfort and later I learned that God doesn’t need His people to be perfectly prepared. I know Michelle and I enjoyed the remaining rehearsals, although I’m pretty sure it didn’t take long for her to regret sitting next to someone with the voice of a toad.

Creativity Is Brewing


Creativity is brewing with today’s podcast guest!  Stephen Brewster serves as the Creative Arts Pastor at Cross Point Church in Nashville, Tennessee.

He believes that the Church as a whole should be trying to regain the position of leader of the creative frontier.  He shares:

“I believe that at the core we were all created to be creative . . . Whether you are an accountant or whether you are Picasso, God instilled inside of you creativity and curiosity . . . You would never walk into a Kindergarten class and and be like, ‘Ok, who are the creative kids and who are the analytical kids?’  You just put a piece of paper down and some crayons and they all go to town! “

Stephen feels that the church has the opportunity to help guide people in their creativity and to reengage with the way God made them to be.  He’s passionate about leading this sort of experience and creating a space for people to connect with God.

Tune in to learn about his passion and to gain some perspective on what your church could be doing to help create these sorts of environments!

What’s coming up?

Be on the lookout for our upcoming episode releases from:

Tyler Braun

Craig Borlase

Frequency.FM

And many more!

Have a guest idea?

Contact us:  ashleigh@goodberry.net

 

Thinking About Sustainability


Ed Cyzewski is a wordsmith.  He is an author, editor, and blogger.  He’s got a self-proclaimed sarcastic and imperfect tone when it comes to writing about Jesus, but is passionate about sharing truth and helping other’s develop their relationships with God.

His favorite topics are Christian living and theology and we’re thrilled to have had a chance to get to know him better in this interview.  He shared with us:

“One of the things that I’ve tried to do in my work and in my writing is to talk about carving out that time for God in our lives.  So that means making sacrifices and cutting things out, but at the same time, thinking about sustainability. “

Be sure to check out Ed’s blog:  In a mirror dimly – where he writes about sustainable discipleship and what it means to follow Jesus.

What’s coming up?

Be on the lookout for our upcoming episode releases from:

Stephen Brewster

Tyler Braun

Craig Borlase

And many more!

Have a guest idea?

Contact us:  ashleigh@goodberry.net

 

The Attractive Emergence Movement


You might imagine Phyllis Tickle as the coolest grandma around – but not just because she makes a mean chocolate chip cookie.  She’s cool because she’s the epitome of wisdom and lives her life as an expression of grace.

One thing is for certain – She knows her stuff.  Considered an authority on religion, Phyllis serves as the founding editor of the Religion Department of Publishers Weekly.  She’s also written over three dozen books, served as a professor and dean, and is now a lay eucharistic minister and lector in the Episcopal Church.

Phyllis is a theorist and student of the Emergence Church movement and this episode will help you comprehend the related beliefs.  She shares about the attractive emergence movement and what has captivated her.  For instance,

“Emergence Christianity represents, or names, a set of sensibilities:  non-hierarchical, deeply liturgical, deeply narrative, non-doctrinal, very green.”

“One of the things I find most attractive about Emergence Christianity is it’s real fair of human arrogance and it’s real sensitivity to it and how it limits our worship and our sense of awe.”

Get ready to take it all in as we hear from Phyllis!

What’s coming up?

Be on the lookout for our upcoming episode releases from:

Ed Cyzewski

Stephen Brewster

Tyler Braun

And many more!

Have a guest idea?

Contact us:  ashleigh@goodberry.net

Easter People In A Good Friday World

Can you imagine speaking to a crowd of thousands?  Can you picture teaching at a church that averages 24,000 attendees each weekend? Can you imagine still thinking that number was too small?

Steve Carter serves as the director of Evangelism and as a teaching pastor for Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington, Illinois.

He values and hopes to impact those 24,000, but perhaps his greatest passion is to see more people impacted by the Good News of God and His love for us.

Steve believes that Christians are Easter People in a Good Friday world.  He shares:

“I think for many people in Christianity, we love the cross but we often forget that the tomb is empty . . .  I see Christians and disciples as people of the resurrection.  We’re Easter people.  We’re people that proclaim that the tomb is empty, and yet we live in a world that’s broken and fractured.”

Steve shares that he knows the idea of evangelism is a sensitive topic for many people.  Quite frankly, leaves a bad taste in a lot of people’s mouths.  So just how should we evangelize?  What is the context evangelism should happen in?

We hope you’ll watch along with us today to hear what Steve has to say.

What’s coming up?

Be on the lookout for our upcoming episode releases from:

Phyllis Tickle

Ed Cyzewski

And many more!

Have a guest idea?

Contact us:  ashleigh@goodberry.net

The Historical Jesus w/ John Dominic Crossan


John Dominic Crossan has always been fascinated by the Bible and it’s teachings.  He’s dedicated his life to teaching, exploring, and always asking more questions of the text.

He has served as a Catholic priest, an author, a professor, and a scholar.  Throughout all of his pursuits, he has set his compass to seek and find the truth.

His beliefs and assertions have been both embraced and criticized.  He works with various topics, but is known best for his controversial views on The Historical Jesus.

We’re thankful for Dom’s faithful work and for the opportunity to study and search along with him.  Thanks for tuning in with us today!

What’s coming up?

Be on the lookout for our upcoming episode releases from:

Steve Carter

Phyllis Tickle

Ed Cyzewski

And many more!

Have a guest idea?

Contact us:  ashleigh@goodberry.net

 

Visualize God’s Love


Psalm 34:8 says that we are to “Taste and see that the LORD is good.”

Ginny Owens has dedicated her life to helping others visualize God’s love.  She may not see the same as others do, but she certainly sees God’s love and shares it with others through timbre, lyrics, and devotion.

When asked why she does what she does, she replied:

“I really feel like my “why” is that I write music to communicate the gospels, to communicate the hope that I have in Christ, and to communicate to others that there is indeed hope. “

When it comes to Ginny’s music, there is always a reason behind the rhyme.  She speaks of encountering others who are at points of desperation and wanting to share a reminder and invitation to know the freedom that comes from knowing Jesus.

Thanks for tuning in to this beautiful story of hope!  You can listen to Ginny’s music and find updates on her latest album.

What’s coming up?

Be on the lookout for our upcoming episode releases from:

John Dominic Crossan

Steve Carter

Phyllis Tickle

And many more!

Have a guest idea?

Contact us:  ashleigh@goodberry.net

Doug Pagitt, Possibility Evangelist


Doug Pagitt’s business card might read a little differently than most.  He gives himself the title of Goodness Conspirator and Possibility Evangelist.  He is a creator with an entrepreneurial spirit who seeks to find ways to invite people to join in on the desires God has for us all.

Doug certainly wears many hats while serving as an author, Pastor of Solomon’s Porch church, consultant, radio show host, and director of the Cana Initiative.

He believes in humor, taking a different approach, being vulnerable, and finding creative and progressive ways to share truth.  A lot of his beliefs spring from the following:

“We have this great opportunity to make things happen, and what we’re called to as human beings – as people who are alive physically and spiritually, emotionally and mentally – is to generate the kind of world that we want to live in.”

We hope you’ll catch a bit of his contagious spirit as you listen with us today!

 

What’s coming up?

Be on the lookout for our upcoming episode releases from:

Ginny Owens

John Dominic Crossan

Steve Carter

And many more!

Have a guest idea?

Contact us:  ashleigh@goodberry.net

4-Square & Ziplines & S’mores: Why Camp Changes Lives


Wouldn’t you love to have an office overlooking a lake?  Hearing the sounds of children laughing, campfire songs being sung, the zipline going through the woods, and boats driving by?  How about having s’mores every day for dessert?

We’ll today’s guest has landed the dream job.  Jeff Jacobs is the Executive Director of Camp Henry in Newaygo, Michigan.  Truth be told, he doesn’t like marshmallows, but he’ll gladly eat a s’more if you make him one!  Jacobs believes that camp changes lives and is the perfect environment to unplug from the outside world and plug into truth.

Camp Henry has been serving campers since 1937 and provides us with an outstanding model of positive life change, connection to nature, and growing in faith.  This unique year-round camping facility serves youth, families, school groups, youth groups, and much more.

We hope you’ll tune in to learn more about the Power of Camp!